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Proposal to raise standards of houses in multiple occupation

Published Thursday, 21 July 2022

Improvements to health and safety standards and the management of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are being proposed in York.

In March 2021, proposals to extend licensing for smaller HMOs were put forward for parts of the city. Senior councillors approved a city-wide consultation, and feedback from residents, neighbours, landlords and letting agents, have shaped new recommendations. Contained in a new report, the recommendations are that HMOs which contain three or four occupiers, and which are in one of eight wards of the city, should require a license.

The license process includes meeting a number of requirements to ensure the house is a healthy and safe place to live.

Inspections will be undertaken and enforcement action can be taken if necessary to ensure that the homes reach minimum standards. These standards include ensuring that rooms are a minimum size with proper access to daylight, while standards of safety, energy performance, heating and ventilation are maintained.

The standards ensure that issues with parking, waste and any anti-social behaviour are properly managed.

The wards in which extended HMO licensing is being proposed are:

  • Hull Road
  • Guildhall
  • Fishergate
  • Clifton
  • Heworth
  • Micklegate
  • Osbaldwick and Derwent
  • Fulford and Heslington

This will increase the number of houses in the city which need a license from around 1000 to 3000 houses.

The extension of licenses is proposed to start from the beginning of the next financial year in April 2023 and run for five years, with license fees reviewed annually.

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Communities, said:

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the consultation and helped to shape this report and its recommendations. 

"HMOs are an important part of the city’s housing. It is essential that we continue to drive up standards in such homes to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of tenants and minimise any negative impacts on nearby communities.

"I welcome the suggestion in the report that a steering group of stakeholders should be set up to collaboratively drive up standards across the city’s private rented sector.”

The report will go to the council’s Executive on 28 July 2022, at 5:30pm. You can read the full agenda and the report online.